Making a positive social impact with Sappi Khulisa

In the communities where we work, we plant seeds of change and opportunity that enhance people’s everyday lives. This FAQ explains how with Sappi Khulisa in South Africa.

What is Sappi Khulisa?

Started in 1983, Sappi Khulisa is a tree-farming scheme. The project (initially known as Project Grow) focused on supporting subsistence farmers who had access to 1-20 hectares of land on which to grow trees. In the years leading up to celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, Sappi Khulisa expanded to include community forestry projects and forestry projects handed to land-reform beneficiaries. Whereas Project Grow focused solely on the growers, Sappi Khulisa focuses on small, individual growers whole value chain, including individual growers, community projects and contractors. 

How does it work?

Growers make their land available for planting eucalyptus trees. We provide growers with:

  • Sponsored seedlings
  • Technical advice and training
  • Guaranteed access to market
  • Loans

Loans are sufficient to cover all farming input costs, including annual maintenance of the plantations until they are harvested. Advances are paid to growers for work carried out throughout the generally 8-10 year growing cycle. At harvesting time, we buy the timber from the growers and pay them a market-related price, less the advance payments they have received in preceding years. 

Where do seedlings come from?

All seedlings supplied are grown by our own nurseries to ensure that the growers plant only the best available quality genetic material.

Where are growers situated?

Sappi Khulisa was started in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, covering the area from Manguzi near Kosi Bay in the north, to Port Edward in the south, and inland as far as Ixopo and Nongoma. It subsequently expanded into the Eastern Cape near the towns of Bizana and Lusikisiki.